New export strategy consultations start

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has started consultations to develop the second National Export Strategy (NES II), which will cover the period between 2020 and 2025. The second NES is expected to build on key lessons learnt from the first strategy, which was launched in 2012 and expired last year. On Wednesday, the ministry,…

Treasury withdraws mobile money tax

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha has withdrawn a one percent withholding tax on mobile money transactions proposed in the 2019/20 National Budget following pressure from a number of stakeholders. In his winding up statement made in Parliament on Monday, the minister, apparently succumbing to a recent  public outcry over the proposed…

MPs highlight flaws in fuel industry

Members of Parliament (MPs) under the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change have highlighted shortfalls in the fuel industry and asked Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) to discipline errant oil marketing companies. Speaking during a Sensitisation Workshop on Liquid Fuels and Gas Regulations in Mangochi on Saturday, the legislators also decried the trend…

When govt salivates on mobile money

Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito is a bitter man. Just like a ferocious and mangy dog, Kapito is now relentlessly barking at Capital Hill, for one reason: Capital Hill’s decision to propose an introduction of a one percent withholding tax on non-bank mobile money transactions contained in the 2019/20 National Budget,…

JC abolition haunts govt, minister urges debate

Minister of Education, Science and Technology William Susuwele-Banda has admitted the decision to abolish Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) examination has haunted Capital Hill following mounting pressure for its reintroduction. But the minister has dismissed assertions recently made by some education activists who attributed poor results for the 2019 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE)…

Expert tips Malawi on Vision 2020 successor

Malawi, through the National Planning Commission (NPC), should design the country’s development strategies that have realistic and achievable targets, an international development studies expert has advised. Speaking in Lilongwe on Monday during a Stakeholders Inception Meeting for the Review of the Vision 2020, Oliver Saasa, Lusaka-based professor of international economic relations and a long-time lecturer…

World Bank approves K42bn for MW-Moz power project

The World Bank Group board of executive directors has approved $57 million (about K42 billion) towards the Malawi-Mozambique Regional Interconnector Project. The project is designed to interconnect Mozambique and Malawi transmission systems to enable both countries to engage in bilateral and regional power trade in the Southern African Power Pool (Sapp). Its main undertakings include…

IMF raises hope for Malawi

The IMF mission to Malawi on Tuesday said the country’s recent economic performance has been favourable but the country can do much better if Capital Hill improves on reducing both public debt and budget deficits. The fund has also asked government to enhance spending on infrastructure, health and education sectors as well as on social…

MPs query BT Police project

Parliamentary Committee on International Relations, Defence and Security Cluster on Monday took to task Ministry of Homeland Security officials over delays surrounding the construction of  Blantyre Police Station office complex. During the meeting held in Lilongwe, it transpired that government has so far spent K750 million on the three-year project whose progress, the committee members…

‘Treasury in tight corner’ on new budget

Treasury has challenged critics that it has the muscle to meet targets on projected revenue and grants to finance the proposed K1.7 trillion 2019/20 fiscal plan. Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development spokesperson Davis Sado was reacting to scepticism from economic experts on where government will find the money to implement the budget. He…

Tobacco growers rush for quota allocation

Tobacco Commission (TC) says it is overwhelmed with the number of tobacco growers willing to grow the crop in the next growing season. Since last week, more growers have been thronging TC offices at Kanengo in Lilongwe for the 2019/20 tobacco quota allocation. The numbers have overwhelmed the tobacco regulator, which has attributed the surge…

Mwanamvekha unveils K1.7tn maiden budget

Economic experts and other development partners have described the 2019/20 National Budget as a ‘cautious’ financial plan. Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha on Monday presented his maiden full budget whose nominal value in terms of total expenditure has been pegged at K1.7 trillion, representing 27.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).…

Schools body blames poor MSCE results on JCE abolition

Independent Schools Association of Malawi (Isama) says the abolition of Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) examination has contributed to most students’ failure in this year’s Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) exams. Isama president Joseph Patel has since asked the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) to institute a commission of inquiry to investigate…

Minister promises balanced budget

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha has hinted that the 2019/20 National Budget will be a balanced fiscal plan that will sustain economic stability while bolstering growth rate. Mwanamvekha, who will this afternoon  present his maiden fiscal plan in Parliament in Lilongwe, said in an interview on Sunday the key focus will…

‘Tobacco market has progressed well’

The 2019 tobacco marketing season which was opened on April 25 will close on September 18. This year’s market conduct displayed mixed reactions with growers selling their leaf under auction system complaining about lower prices than the leaf on Integrated Production System (IPS) also known as contract arrangement. Our reporter DUMBANI MZALE caught up with…

Firm doubts RBM inflation target

Nico Asset Managers, an investment advisory firm, has doubted optimism by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) over the expected ease in inflation rate in the short to medium -term. But RBM argues that the  rate at which prices of goods and services change in an economy will remain within the single-digit lane this year…